12 Amazing points on the MYTHOLOGY of Jesus! Must read!

JesusNEVERexisted
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12 Amazing points on the MYTHOLOGY of Jesus! Must read!

After reading the points below NO ONE can think Jesus is anything but a myth in the same mold as other gods that were fabricated in the same general area!

Below is a fantastic summary I found that CLEARLY shows Jesus was a myth! You are denying reality if you think any different!

[1] Jesus of Nazareth and the Gospel story cannot be found in Christian writings
earlier than the Gospels, the first of which (Mark) was composed only toward the
end of the first century CE.

[2] There is no non-Christian reference to Jesus earlier than the second century.
The two references in Flavius Josephus (end of the first century) are unreliable
and can be dismissed in their entirety as later Christian insertions.

[3] The early epistles, such as Paul and Hebrews, speak of their Christ Jesus
(Messiah Savior) as a spiritual, heavenly being, one revealed by God through
scripture, and do not equate him with a recent historical man. Paul is part of a
new salvation movement acting on revelation from the Spirit.

[4] Paul and other early writers place the death and resurrection of their Christ
in the supernatural/mythical world based on Platonic and Semitic cosmology,
and derive their information about these events, as well as other features of their
heavenly Christ, from scripture.

[5] The ancients viewed the universe as finite and multi-layered: matter below,
spirit above. The higher world of the heavens was regarded as the superior,
genuine reality, where spiritual processes and heavenly counterparts to earthly
things were located. Paul's Christ operates within this system.

[6] The pagan "mystery cults" of the period worshiped savior deities who had
performed salvific acts. Under the influence of Platonism, these acts came to be
interpreted by the cults as taking place in the supernatural/mythical world, not on
earth or in history. The Pauline Christ was similarly regarded as undergoing
death and resurrection in the heavenly realm. This new Christ belief also shared
other mythological concepts current in the ancient world.

[7] The most prominent philosophical-religious concept of the period was the
intermediary Son, a spiritual channel between the ultimate transcendent God and
humanity. Such intermediary concepts as the Greek Logos and Jewish
personified Wisdom were models for Paul's heavenly Christ and Son, who took
on an additional, sacrificial role under the inspiration of scripture.

[8] All the Gospels derive their basic story of Jesus of Nazareth from one
source: the Gospel of Mark, the first one composed. Subsequent evangelists
reworked Mark in their own interests and added new material. None of the
evangelists show any concern for creating genuine history. The Acts of the
Apostles as an account of the beginnings of the Christian apostolic movement is
historically unreliable, a second century piece of legend-making.

[9] The Gospels were not written as historical accounts, but present a symbolic
representation of a Galilean kingdom-preaching sect, combined with a fictional
passion story set on earth, probably meant to allegorize the heavenly Christ's
death and resurrection in the supernatural realm. They are constructed through
the process of "midrash," a Jewish method of reworking old biblical passages
and tales to reflect new beliefs. The story of Jesus' trial and crucifixion is a
pastiche of verses from scripture, and has nothing to do with "history
remembered."

[10] "Q" is a lost sayings collection extracted from Matthew and Luke, and
made no reference to a death and resurrection, or soteriological role for its Jesus.
It can be shown to have had no Jesus figure at its roots: some of which roots
were ultimately non-Jewish. The Q community preached the imminent coming of
the kingdom of God and the arrival of the heavenly Son of Man, and its
traditions were eventually assigned to an invented founder who was combined
with the spiritual Christ Jesus of the Pauline type in the Gospel of Mark. The
case for the existence of Q is much superior to any alternative explanation for the common material in Matthew and Luke.

[11] The initial variety of sects and beliefs about a spiritual heavenly Christ and
Son of God, some with a revealer role, others with a sacrificial one, shows that
this broad movement began in many different places, a multiplicity of largely
independent and spontaneous developments based on the Jewish scriptures and
other religious expressions of the time, not as a response to a single individual or
point of origin.

[12] Well into the second century, many Christian documents lack or reject the
notion of a past human man as an element of their faith. The type of Christ belief
which became later orthodoxy developed only through the course of the second
century, to eventually gain dominance toward its end. Only gradually did the
Jesus of Nazareth portrayed in the Gospels come to be accepted as historical and his 'life story' real.

 

Click here to find out why Christianity is the biggest fairy tale ever created!! www.nobeliefs.com/exist.htm www.JesusNEVERexisted.com


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BUMP!Come on my friends! 

BUMP!

Come on my friends!  Can't any of you PLEASE comment on these 12 great points raised?


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JesusNEVERexisted

JesusNEVERexisted wrote:

BUMP!

Come on my friends!  Can't any of you PLEASE comment on these 12 great points raised?

I'll bump it again. 

I do not have a whole lot of facts about the non-existence of jesus, even though I think he was a made up character that had an amalgamation of several other cults before him. 

BUT, even if such a dude existed, by all accounts, he seemed like a bullying asshole and would certainly not be someone that I would follow.

“It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.”
― Giordano Bruno


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One at a time

JesusNEVERexisted wrote:

After reading the points below NO ONE can think Jesus is anything but a myth in the same mold as other gods that were fabricated in the same general area!

Below is a fantastic summary I found that CLEARLY shows Jesus was a myth! You are denying reality if you think any different!

[1] Jesus of Nazareth and the Gospel story cannot be found in Christian writings
earlier than the Gospels, the first of which (Mark) was composed only toward the
end of the first century CE.

I will assume that people are too busy for this too, but I'll agree that there is unlikely to be much dispute on point 1.


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x wrote: I will assume that

x wrote:

 

I will assume that people are too busy for this too, but I'll agree that there is unlikely to be much dispute on point 1.

 

I remember a guy that used to post on here quite a bit that called himself Rook Hawkins. He had mountains of biblical texts and dissertations about the mythology of Jesus. 

Unfortunately, I do not have enough information to really debate that matter. I don't believe that Jesus existed, but when people start debating texts, historians, and scholarly works, I get a little lost. 

You see, I take it this way, even if someone names jesus had existed, that would prove absolutely nothing in my mind. So I have never really pursued it. 

I had the bible beat into my head so much as a child that touching a bible today is revolting. I'd rather not waste my reading time studying a cult that I used to be a part of. 

HOWEVER, with that having been said, I applaud the Atheists out there that take the time to do so. I think the more evidence to disprove any of their "theist science and history" can never be a bad thing. 

But it is just not something I know enough about to debate one on. 

Whenever I get into debates with theists ( whether online or in person) I generally use the position that the bible is a terrible framework to build your life around and there is no point in reading it. 

I would like some more pointers about the non-existence of Jesus, just to really piss the christians off. But, I am too lazy to research them.  Any quick pointers like Jesus Never Existed posted could prove to be helpful to me in the future. 

“It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.”
― Giordano Bruno


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Thanks my friends for

Thanks my friends for finally responding to this.   I got some more great info for you.  I found this little gem on the Sam Harris forum:

Before anyone can quote (or even interpret) the Bible (or any scriptures), they have to show that it has any authority, validity or authenticity. Those who absurdly interpret and quote, ad nauseum, scriptures, cannot (no one ever has) present corroboration or authentication for the scriptures they quote. Quoting the Bible to prove the Bible is ridiculous and a circular argument of no interest: the Bible is true… because…  the Bible says so.


Can the Bible be considered a historical document? Certainly not. Besides, there is not one corroborated, authenticated, calender date of any kind in the Bible, whether Old or New Testament.


Bart Ehrman (Misquoting Jesus), demonstrates the lack of original texts and the fact that those we have remaining are ridden with mistakes and additions. Even Mark and Luke dispute the birth place of Jesus and do not specify when he was born.


The authenticity of the Bible and the authenticity of a Jesus, are two different issues. What is stunning is the lack of information surrounding this Jesus as compared to several other persons of his time. We have abundant corroborated documents and information concerning a slave by the name of Spartacus, concerning a Gaius Julius Caesar and many more, but no description and no records of a man presumed to be the “son of god”. We have considerably more information concerning a certain Buddha who was born 500 years before Christ; disappointing to say the least.

 

Click here to find out why Christianity is the biggest fairy tale ever created!! www.nobeliefs.com/exist.htm www.JesusNEVERexisted.com


harleysportster
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JesusNEVERexisted

JesusNEVERexisted wrote:

Thanks my friends for finally responding to this.   I got some more great info for you.  I found this little gem on the Sam Harris forum:

Before anyone can quote (or even interpret) the Bible (or any scriptures), they have to show that it has any authority, validity or authenticity. Those who absurdly interpret and quote, ad nauseum, scriptures, cannot (no one ever has) present corroboration or authentication for the scriptures they quote. Quoting the Bible to prove the Bible is ridiculous and a circular argument of no interest: the Bible is true… because…  the Bible says so.


Can the Bible be considered a historical document? Certainly not. Besides, there is not one corroborated, authenticated, calender date of any kind in the Bible, whether Old or New Testament.


Bart Ehrman (Misquoting Jesus), demonstrates the lack of original texts and the fact that those we have remaining are ridden with mistakes and additions. Even Mark and Luke dispute the birth place of Jesus and do not specify when he was born.


The authenticity of the Bible and the authenticity of a Jesus, are two different issues. What is stunning is the lack of information surrounding this Jesus as compared to several other persons of his time. We have abundant corroborated documents and information concerning a slave by the name of Spartacus, concerning a Gaius Julius Caesar and many more, but no description and no records of a man presumed to be the “son of god”. We have considerably more information concerning a certain Buddha who was born 500 years before Christ; disappointing to say the least.

 

I may have to do some more reading up on this. While I have stated that it does not really matter if there was a jesus either way ( guy was a complete asshole if he did exist) but having more information to refute the existence of him could certainly help piss more christians off. Which is always a good thing in my book. 

“It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.”
― Giordano Bruno


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harleysportster wrote:

I remember a guy that used to post on here quite a bit that called himself Rook Hawkins. He had mountains of biblical texts and dissertations about the mythology of Jesus. 

Unfortunately, I do not have enough information to really debate that matter. I don't believe that Jesus existed, but when people start debating texts, historians, and scholarly works, I get a little lost. 

You see, I take it this way, even if someone names jesus had existed, that would prove absolutely nothing in my mind. So I have never really pursued it. 

I had the bible beat into my head so much as a child that touching a bible today is revolting. I'd rather not waste my reading time studying a cult that I used to be a part of. 

HOWEVER, with that having been said, I applaud the Atheists out there that take the time to do so. I think the more evidence to disprove any of their "theist science and history" can never be a bad thing. 

But it is just not something I know enough about to debate one on. 

Whenever I get into debates with theists ( whether online or in person) I generally use the position that the bible is a terrible framework to build your life around and there is no point in reading it. 

I would like some more pointers about the non-existence of Jesus, just to really piss the christians off. But, I am too lazy to research them.  Any quick pointers like Jesus Never Existed posted could prove to be helpful to me in the future. 

http://www.bibleinterp.com/articles/carp358009.shtml
 

I've done some reading and thinking on historicity, but a lot more is needed. It is very time consuming.

Carrier, Doherty and Price are other people to look at.


harleysportster
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x wrote:harleysportster

x wrote:

harleysportster wrote:

I remember a guy that used to post on here quite a bit that called himself Rook Hawkins. He had mountains of biblical texts and dissertations about the mythology of Jesus. 

Unfortunately, I do not have enough information to really debate that matter. I don't believe that Jesus existed, but when people start debating texts, historians, and scholarly works, I get a little lost. 

You see, I take it this way, even if someone names jesus had existed, that would prove absolutely nothing in my mind. So I have never really pursued it. 

I had the bible beat into my head so much as a child that touching a bible today is revolting. I'd rather not waste my reading time studying a cult that I used to be a part of. 

HOWEVER, with that having been said, I applaud the Atheists out there that take the time to do so. I think the more evidence to disprove any of their "theist science and history" can never be a bad thing. 

But it is just not something I know enough about to debate one on. 

Whenever I get into debates with theists ( whether online or in person) I generally use the position that the bible is a terrible framework to build your life around and there is no point in reading it. 

I would like some more pointers about the non-existence of Jesus, just to really piss the christians off. But, I am too lazy to research them.  Any quick pointers like Jesus Never Existed posted could prove to be helpful to me in the future. 

http://www.bibleinterp.com/articles/carp358009.shtml
 

I've done some reading and thinking on historicity, but a lot more is needed. It is very time consuming.

Carrier, Doherty and Price are other people to look at.

Thanks for the info. 

“It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.”
― Giordano Bruno


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Christians

JesusNEVERexisted wrote:

After reading the points below NO ONE can think Jesus is anything but a myth in the same mold as other gods that were fabricated in the same general area!

Below is a fantastic summary I found that CLEARLY shows Jesus was a myth! You are denying reality if you think any different!

[1] Jesus of Nazareth and the Gospel story cannot be found in Christian writings
earlier than the Gospels, the first of which (Mark) was composed only toward the
end of the first century CE.

[2] There is no non-Christian reference to Jesus earlier than the second century.
The two references in Flavius Josephus (end of the first century) are unreliable
and can be dismissed in their entirety as later Christian insertions.

[3] The early epistles, such as Paul and Hebrews, speak of their Christ Jesus
(Messiah Savior) as a spiritual, heavenly being, one revealed by God through
scripture, and do not equate him with a recent historical man. Paul is part of a
new salvation movement acting on revelation from the Spirit.

[4] Paul and other early writers place the death and resurrection of their Christ
in the supernatural/mythical world based on Platonic and Semitic cosmology,
and derive their information about these events, as well as other features of their
heavenly Christ, from scripture.

[5] The ancients viewed the universe as finite and multi-layered: matter below,
spirit above. The higher world of the heavens was regarded as the superior,
genuine reality, where spiritual processes and heavenly counterparts to earthly
things were located. Paul's Christ operates within this system.

[6] The pagan "mystery cults" of the period worshiped savior deities who had
performed salvific acts. Under the influence of Platonism, these acts came to be
interpreted by the cults as taking place in the supernatural/mythical world, not on
earth or in history. The Pauline Christ was similarly regarded as undergoing
death and resurrection in the heavenly realm. This new Christ belief also shared
other mythological concepts current in the ancient world.

[7] The most prominent philosophical-religious concept of the period was the
intermediary Son, a spiritual channel between the ultimate transcendent God and
humanity. Such intermediary concepts as the Greek Logos and Jewish
personified Wisdom were models for Paul's heavenly Christ and Son, who took
on an additional, sacrificial role under the inspiration of scripture.

[8] All the Gospels derive their basic story of Jesus of Nazareth from one
source: the Gospel of Mark, the first one composed. Subsequent evangelists
reworked Mark in their own interests and added new material. None of the
evangelists show any concern for creating genuine history. The Acts of the
Apostles as an account of the beginnings of the Christian apostolic movement is
historically unreliable, a second century piece of legend-making.

[9] The Gospels were not written as historical accounts, but present a symbolic
representation of a Galilean kingdom-preaching sect, combined with a fictional
passion story set on earth, probably meant to allegorize the heavenly Christ's
death and resurrection in the supernatural realm. They are constructed through
the process of "midrash," a Jewish method of reworking old biblical passages
and tales to reflect new beliefs. The story of Jesus' trial and crucifixion is a
pastiche of verses from scripture, and has nothing to do with "history
remembered."

[10] "Q" is a lost sayings collection extracted from Matthew and Luke, and
made no reference to a death and resurrection, or soteriological role for its Jesus.
It can be shown to have had no Jesus figure at its roots: some of which roots
were ultimately non-Jewish. The Q community preached the imminent coming of
the kingdom of God and the arrival of the heavenly Son of Man, and its
traditions were eventually assigned to an invented founder who was combined
with the spiritual Christ Jesus of the Pauline type in the Gospel of Mark. The
case for the existence of Q is much superior to any alternative explanation for the common material in Matthew and Luke.

[11] The initial variety of sects and beliefs about a spiritual heavenly Christ and
Son of God, some with a revealer role, others with a sacrificial one, shows that
this broad movement began in many different places, a multiplicity of largely
independent and spontaneous developments based on the Jewish scriptures and
other religious expressions of the time, not as a response to a single individual or
point of origin.

[12] Well into the second century, many Christian documents lack or reject the
notion of a past human man as an element of their faith. The type of Christ belief
which became later orthodoxy developed only through the course of the second
century, to eventually gain dominance toward its end. Only gradually did the
Jesus of Nazareth portrayed in the Gospels come to be accepted as historical and his 'life story' real.

 

didn't exist before Christianity, except in the personage of Adam. Who were the Christians supposed to be before the Gospels. They didn't have historians to record anything. Who would it have been that would/should have recorded their history. Isn't that what the the Apostles did with the gospels, make a record of events and times. The only record after that would be the record of JC's trial. That would be recorded in the judicial files/recordings of Rome. If those can't be found then there's nothing to go on. I think what you're looking for is a civil record which would have to have been kept by the Romans in that region, or the Hebrew civil authorities(San Hedrin), who regarded him as a charlitin and fraud. There's no reason they would keep any record of him as any other common citizen at the time. More over-he was regarded as a criminal. He replaced a criminal ,Barabus which was slated for execution and JC went in his place. There's no record of Barabus either. Who do you say should have made any record other then the followers. 

The only possible thing the world could need saving from are those running it.


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Old Seer wrote:didn't exist

Old Seer wrote:

didn't exist before Christianity, except in the personage of Adam. Who were the Christians supposed to be before the Gospels. They didn't have historians to record anything. Who would it have been that would/should have recorded their history. Isn't that what the the Apostles did with the gospels, make a record of events and times. The only record after that would be the record of JC's trial. That would be recorded in the judicial files/recordings of Rome. If those can't be found then there's nothing to go on. I think what you're looking for is a civil record which would have to have been kept by the Romans in that region, or the Hebrew civil authorities(San Hedrin), who regarded him as a charlitin and fraud. There's no reason they would keep any record of him as any other common citizen at the time. More over-he was regarded as a criminal. He replaced a criminal ,Barabus which was slated for execution and JC went in his place. There's no record of Barabus either. Who do you say should have made any record other then the followers. 

Dude, the bible claims Jesus had THOUSANDS and THOUSANDS of followers and was known far and wide! Yet the historical records shows that's not true!  Another great link here:

I can recall being taught the following story about Jesus at the Jewish day school I attended:

"Jesus was a famous first century rabbi whose Hebrew name was Rabbi Yehoshua. His father was a carpenter named Joseph and his mother's name was Mary. Mary became pregnant before she married Joseph. Jesus was born in a stable in Bethlehem during a Roman census. Jesus grew up in Nazareth and became a learned rabbi. He traveled all over Israel preaching that people should love one another. Some people thought that he was the Messiah and he did not deny this, which made the other rabbis very angry. He caused so much controversy that the Roman governor Pontius Pilate had him crucified. He was buried in a tomb and later his body was found to be missing since it had probably been stolen by his disciples."

A few years after being taught this seemingly innocent story, I became interested in the origins of Christianity and decided to do some further reading on the "famous Rabbi Yehoshua." Much to my dismay, I discovered that there was no historical evidence of this Rabbi Yehoshua. The claim that Jesus was a rabbi named Yehoshua and the claim that his body was probably stolen both turned out to be pure conjecture. The rest of the story was nothing more than a watered down version of the story which Christians believe as part of the Christian religion but which is not supported by any legitimate historical source.

There was absolutely no historical evidence that Jesus, Joseph or Mary ever existed, let alone that Joseph was a carpenter or that Jesus was born in Bethlehem and lived in Nazareth.

Despite the widespread belief in Jesus the fact remains that there is no historical Jesus. 

  In order to understand what is meant by an "historical Jesus," consider King Midas in Greek mythology. The story that King Midas turned everything he touched into gold is clearly nonsense, yet despite this we know that there was a real King Midas. Archaeologists have excavated his tomb and found his skeletal remains. The Greeks who told the story of Midas and his golden touch clearly intended people to identify him with the real Midas. So although the story of the golden touch is fictional, the story is about a person whose existence is known as a fact--the "historical Midas." In the case of Jesus, however, there is no single person whose existence is known as a fact and who is also intended to be the subject of the Jesus stories, i.e. there is no historical Jesus.   

 

 

 http://mama.indstate.edu/users/nizrael/jesusrefutation.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Click here to find out why Christianity is the biggest fairy tale ever created!! www.nobeliefs.com/exist.htm www.JesusNEVERexisted.com


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 i agree

yea ive read that site its an amazing read, i must admit that i felt tempted to leave the printout on my wifes die hard old school catholic grandfathers desk secretly.. but i havent and probably wont.. 

Chris


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hbmbc30 wrote:yea ive read

hbmbc30 wrote:

yea ive read that site its an amazing read, i must admit that i felt tempted to leave the printout on my wifes die hard old school catholic grandfathers desk secretly.. but i havent and probably wont.. 

Why not??

You should tell her the truth that Jesus only  exists in the delusions of looney ChristNUTS!

Click here to find out why Christianity is the biggest fairy tale ever created!! www.nobeliefs.com/exist.htm www.JesusNEVERexisted.com


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JesusNEVERexisted wrote:

Old Seer wrote:

didn't exist before Christianity, except in the personage of Adam. Who were the Christians supposed to be before the Gospels. They didn't have historians to record anything. Who would it have been that would/should have recorded their history. Isn't that what the the Apostles did with the gospels, make a record of events and times. The only record after that would be the record of JC's trial. That would be recorded in the judicial files/recordings of Rome. If those can't be found then there's nothing to go on. I think what you're looking for is a civil record which would have to have been kept by the Romans in that region, or the Hebrew civil authorities(San Hedrin), who regarded him as a charlitin and fraud. There's no reason they would keep any record of him as any other common citizen at the time. More over-he was regarded as a criminal. He replaced a criminal ,Barabus which was slated for execution and JC went in his place. There's no record of Barabus either. Who do you say should have made any record other then the followers. 

Dude, the bible claims Jesus had THOUSANDS and THOUSANDS of followers and was known far and wide! Yet the historical records shows that's not true!  Another great link here:

I can recall being taught the following story about Jesus at the Jewish day school I attended:

 

 

"Jesus was a famous first century rabbi whose Hebrew name was Rabbi Yehoshua. His father was a carpenter named Joseph and his mother's name was Mary. Mary became pregnant before she married Joseph. Jesus was born in a stable in Bethlehem during a Roman census. Jesus grew up in Nazareth and became a learned rabbi. He traveled all over Israel preaching that people should love one another. Some people thought that he was the Messiah and he did not deny this, which made the other rabbis very angry. He caused so much controversy that the Roman governor Pontius Pilate had him crucified. He was buried in a tomb and later his body was found to be missing since it had probably been stolen by his disciples."

 

 

A few years after being taught this seemingly innocent story, I became interested in the origins of Christianity and decided to do some further reading on the "famous Rabbi Yehoshua." Much to my dismay, I discovered that there was no historical evidence of this Rabbi Yehoshua. The claim that Jesus was a rabbi named Yehoshua and the claim that his body was probably stolen both turned out to be pure conjecture. The rest of the story was nothing more than a watered down version of the story which Christians believe as part of the Christian religion but which is not supported by any legitimate historical source.

There was absolutely no historical evidence that Jesus, Joseph or Mary ever existed, let alone that Joseph was a carpenter or that Jesus was born in Bethlehem and lived in Nazareth.

 

Despite the widespread belief in Jesus the fact remains that there is no historical Jesus. 

 

  In order to understand what is meant by an "historical Jesus," consider King Midas in Greek mythology. The story that King Midas turned everything he touched into gold is clearly nonsense, yet despite this we know that there was a real King Midas. Archaeologists have excavated his tomb and found his skeletal remains. The Greeks who told the story of Midas and his golden touch clearly intended people to identify him with the real Midas. So although the story of the golden touch is fictional, the story is about a person whose existence is known as a fact--the "historical Midas." In the case of Jesus, however, there is no single person whose existence is known as a fact and who is also intended to be the subject of the Jesus stories, i.e. there is no historical Jesus.   

 

 

 http://mama.indstate.edu/users/nizrael/jesusrefutation.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

example of a proper human being. If you study his life you'll see that. But, if you want to go the Euro idea, they were never Christians. There is no civil history of JC. what you need to understand is---you may be subscribing to the mind set that if the government didn't say so it didn't happen. JC of his time wasn't an historical figure of significance. He's not trying to gather followers to himself, but rather to an ideal. As he said-in essence---you can deny me but you can't deny what I represent. He's sayinf no one has to follow him but his life is what is to follow as ---being like him. He represents your good/human side. He's an example of proper humanity. Can you deny you have no prospect of becoming a proper human being. He is opposite the animal.  The opposite of animal is--human. It's so simple a child can write it dow, (OT).  NOW, could all of you get off the negatives, condemnations, rudeness, snide remarks, foul words, etc and switch over for a minute or two- to something that resembles a human being. Or at least treat others humanely. The forum rules demand such. All the rules demand is, if your going to be here be a Christian in the treatment of others. get the idea.  Your not going to find Christianity anywheres else but right inside your own beaneries.  Smiling  Smiling  Smiling

The only possible thing the world could need saving from are those running it.


A_Nony_Mouse
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You have a comprehensive list. I note you do not go in search of the "real" Jesus. Yet you do go in search of the "real" Moses. Why dismiss one mythology and try to salvage a "kernel of truth" about another?

Jews stole the land. The owners want it back. That is all anyone needs to know about Israel. That is all there is to know about Israel.

www.ussliberty.org

www.giwersworld.org/made-in-alexandria/index.html

www.giwersworld.org/00_files/zion-hit-points.phtml


Meanjean
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Existance of Jesus?

Facts cannot exist on non-existanceSmiling


digitalbeachbum
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JesusNEVERexisted

JesusNEVERexisted wrote:

BUMP!

Come on my friends!  Can't any of you PLEASE comment on these 12 great points raised?

Awesome points, but you are always going to battle up hill with believers. They have faith and faith doesn't care about facts or evidence.

Free will is an illusion. People always choose the perceived path of greatest pleasure.

-Scott Adams


JesusNEVERexisted
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A_Nony_Mouse wrote:You have

A_Nony_Mouse wrote:

You have a comprehensive list. I note you do not go in search of the "real" Jesus. Yet you do go in search of the "real" Moses. Why dismiss one mythology and try to salvage a "kernel of truth" about another?

 

Say what?? There is NO "real" Jesus just as there is no "real" Moses! There are simply part of the Judeo Christian MYTH!! Got it?

Click here to find out why Christianity is the biggest fairy tale ever created!! www.nobeliefs.com/exist.htm www.JesusNEVERexisted.com


JesusNEVERexisted
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Old Seer

Old Seer wrote:

JesusNEVERexisted wrote:

Old Seer wrote:

didn't exist before Christianity, except in the personage of Adam. Who were the Christians supposed to be before the Gospels. They didn't have historians to record anything. Who would it have been that would/should have recorded their history. Isn't that what the the Apostles did with the gospels, make a record of events and times. The only record after that would be the record of JC's trial. That would be recorded in the judicial files/recordings of Rome. If those can't be found then there's nothing to go on. I think what you're looking for is a civil record which would have to have been kept by the Romans in that region, or the Hebrew civil authorities(San Hedrin), who regarded him as a charlitin and fraud. There's no reason they would keep any record of him as any other common citizen at the time. More over-he was regarded as a criminal. He replaced a criminal ,Barabus which was slated for execution and JC went in his place. There's no record of Barabus either. Who do you say should have made any record other then the followers. 

Dude, the bible claims Jesus had THOUSANDS and THOUSANDS of followers and was known far and wide! Yet the historical records shows that's not true!  Another great link here:

I can recall being taught the following story about Jesus at the Jewish day school I attended:

 

 

 

"Jesus was a famous first century rabbi whose Hebrew name was Rabbi Yehoshua. His father was a carpenter named Joseph and his mother's name was Mary. Mary became pregnant before she married Joseph. Jesus was born in a stable in Bethlehem during a Roman census. Jesus grew up in Nazareth and became a learned rabbi. He traveled all over Israel preaching that people should love one another. Some people thought that he was the Messiah and he did not deny this, which made the other rabbis very angry. He caused so much controversy that the Roman governor Pontius Pilate had him crucified. He was buried in a tomb and later his body was found to be missing since it had probably been stolen by his disciples."

 

 

 

A few years after being taught this seemingly innocent story, I became interested in the origins of Christianity and decided to do some further reading on the "famous Rabbi Yehoshua." Much to my dismay, I discovered that there was no historical evidence of this Rabbi Yehoshua. The claim that Jesus was a rabbi named Yehoshua and the claim that his body was probably stolen both turned out to be pure conjecture. The rest of the story was nothing more than a watered down version of the story which Christians believe as part of the Christian religion but which is not supported by any legitimate historical source.

There was absolutely no historical evidence that Jesus, Joseph or Mary ever existed, let alone that Joseph was a carpenter or that Jesus was born in Bethlehem and lived in Nazareth.

 

Despite the widespread belief in Jesus the fact remains that there is no historical Jesus. 

 

  In order to understand what is meant by an "historical Jesus," consider King Midas in Greek mythology. The story that King Midas turned everything he touched into gold is clearly nonsense, yet despite this we know that there was a real King Midas. Archaeologists have excavated his tomb and found his skeletal remains. The Greeks who told the story of Midas and his golden touch clearly intended people to identify him with the real Midas. So although the story of the golden touch is fictional, the story is about a person whose existence is known as a fact--the "historical Midas." In the case of Jesus, however, there is no single person whose existence is known as a fact and who is also intended to be the subject of the Jesus stories, i.e. there is no historical Jesus.   

 

 

 http://mama.indstate.edu/users/nizrael/jesusrefutation.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

example of a proper human being. If you study his life you'll see that. But, if you want to go the Euro idea, they were never Christians. There is no civil history of JC. what you need to understand is---you may be subscribing to the mind set that if the government didn't say so it didn't happen. JC of his time wasn't an historical figure of significance. He's not trying to gather followers to himself, but rather to an ideal. As he said-in essence---you can deny me but you can't deny what I represent. He's sayinf no one has to follow him but his life is what is to follow as ---being like him. He represents your good/human side. He's an example of proper humanity. Can you deny you have no prospect of becoming a proper human being. He is opposite the animal.  The opposite of animal is--human. It's so simple a child can write it dow, (OT).  NOW, could all of you get off the negatives, condemnations, rudeness, snide remarks, foul words, etc and switch over for a minute or two- to something that resembles a human being. Or at least treat others humanely. The forum rules demand such. All the rules demand is, if your going to be here be a Christian in the treatment of others. get the idea.  Your not going to find Christianity anywheres else but right inside your own beaneries.  Smiling  Smiling  Smiling

LOL..can someone translate Old Seer's post? Has senility set in?

Click here to find out why Christianity is the biggest fairy tale ever created!! www.nobeliefs.com/exist.htm www.JesusNEVERexisted.com


A_Nony_Mouse
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JesusNEVERexisted wrote:

A_Nony_Mouse wrote:
You have a comprehensive list. I note you do not go in search of the "real" Jesus. Yet you do go in search of the "real" Moses. Why dismiss one mythology and try to salvage a "kernel of truth" about another?

Say what?? There is NO "real" Jesus just as there is no "real" Moses! There are simply part of the Judeo Christian MYTH!! Got it?

 

Take for example your point that the gospels create a person to layer on top of the Pauline letters in particular or a salvation cult in general. Applying the same rule of first appearance of the Jesus as person criteria we have the first appearance of recognizable judaism in the mid 2nd c BC at the earliest.

www.giwersworld.org/made-in-alexandria/index.html

Describing Pauline and company as salvation cultists transfers to the OT as a fictional foundation to cult practices. For example, what was (or even was there a) Passover before Moses was invented?

One should also ask why Moses and all the subsequent and therefore contingent fiction was invented.

Your outline on lawgiver is like a compilation of Jesus miracles and saying he did not exist because the events did not happen. For the Jesus myth you look into dynamics of the society at the time and the motivations of people doing the inventing.

There are several texts and articles which explicitely or implicitely go with a mythical Moses. There is an entire cult which invented the idea the stories were written after the mythical return from the mythical captivity in Babylon. They all take a position to the effect "if it was not handed to Moses by god it might as well have been" for some nonsense reason. Praising the religious thought is the most common nonsense reason. Making the nonsense claim of henotheism or inventing monotheism is another without explaining why specialized gods are necessarily inferior to a swiss army knive god.

A book as suggested by your outline does not stand out from the herd. Your outline does not suggest following through with such obvious things such as, no Moses no Passover. Also in passing, no Moses no Abraham. No Abraham then circumcision is a primitive, savage practice not in the "might as well have come from god" category.

One way or another all of the no-Moses sources fall short of observing the Torah is arbitrary and capricious human invention meaning mostly despicable and stupid.

Obviously that it the approach I take in the link as a matter of competent workmanship to make certain the entire edifice fails after I remove the foundations. Your outline suggests only that you are removing the foundation while leaving the rest standing. You avoid doing that by failing to address where it really came from. And that must be addressed with the same rigor as Moses. Who invented Moses and why? Such questions are always addressed when it comes to Jesus.

The only warning I might add is even Jewish atheists will call you antisemitic if you follow through with the consequences of no Moses.

 

Jews stole the land. The owners want it back. That is all anyone needs to know about Israel. That is all there is to know about Israel.

www.ussliberty.org

www.giwersworld.org/made-in-alexandria/index.html

www.giwersworld.org/00_files/zion-hit-points.phtml


bzeurunkl
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Dumbest thing said... EVAR

[1] Jesus of Nazareth and the Gospel story cannot be found in Christian writings earlier than the Gospels,..."

 

Holy crap, batman!  That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard. 

 

That's like saying, "Tom Sawyer cannot be found in literature any earlier than the writings of Mark Twain..."

 

Damn.  And to think you LEAD with that one.  I gotsta keep reading.  This is gonna be good.


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bzeurunkl wrote:[1] Jesus of

bzeurunkl wrote:

[1] Jesus of Nazareth and the Gospel story cannot be found in Christian writings earlier than the Gospels,..."

That's like saying, "Tom Sawyer cannot be found in literature any earlier than the writings of Mark Twain..."

I think they are talking about the oral tradition which was the only way the story was passed on; so in a sense if it wasn't written down then mistakes were made orally.  Before it was written, the story of Jesus was passed around in free form with out any oral tradition. There was no formal training which could be compared to the likes of Buddhist monks orally transmitting stories; instead the Middle East natives used a folklore type of transmission.

The earliest written version I think exists from the 4th century. So why such a long wait and why so few versions? If it was so important or so popular one would think their would be multiple copies before the 4th century. It is suspected that the first copy was written in Hebrew and then translated in to Greek. That Hebrew version does not exist so comparisons can not be made between translations.

Also, the comparison between Mark Twain and Tom Sawyer is invalid. The Gospels in Christianity were not written by the authors.

 

Free will is an illusion. People always choose the perceived path of greatest pleasure.

-Scott Adams


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bzeurunkl wrote:Holy

bzeurunkl wrote:
Holy crap

Personally, I have no problem with this kind of language, but one of your brothers-in-christ on the board here would like you to know that you're being, and I quote, "disgusting".

Christians, eh ? 

 

bzeurunkl wrote:
That's like saying, "Tom Sawyer cannot be found in literature any earlier than the writings of Mark Twain..."

Did you just compare your lord and savior to a fictional character ? 

Oh, okay. 

 

bzeurunkl wrote:
This is gonna be good.
 

Yes indeed. Please do keep posting.


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bzeurunkl wrote:[1] Jesus of

bzeurunkl wrote:

[1] Jesus of Nazareth and the Gospel story cannot be found in Christian writings earlier than the Gospels,..."

 

Holy crap, batman!  That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard. 

 

That's like saying, "Tom Sawyer cannot be found in literature any earlier than the writings of Mark Twain..."

 

Damn.  And to think you LEAD with that one.  I gotsta keep reading.  This is gonna be good.

You do know that the Gospels aren't based on a real Jesus, right? They were based on the Pauline creation "Jesus Christ" aka "Messiah the Deliverer".  No real person behind it - just a bunch of savior god myths.

Was there a Jesus of Nazareth? I think there were likely hundreds but none of them have any connection to the fiction in the gospels.

 

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin


Robert123
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 Hi JesusNeverExisted,JNE

 

Hi JesusNeverExisted,

JNE wrote: "[1] Jesus of Nazareth and the Gospel story cannot be found in Christian writings
earlier than the Gospels, the first of which (Mark) was composed only toward the
end of the first century CE."

I agree with you that the book of Mark was not composed until the end of the first century (around A.D. 70), but most scholars believe that various earlier sources, both oral and written, underlie the text. These may include:

1. A passion narrative.

2. Miracle stories.

3. Logia source or Q.

4. Other narrative traditions.

Further, many of the letters of Paul are undoubtedly very early and contain even earlier hymns, creeds and traditions. Critical scholarship also accepts that certain eyewitnesses of Jesus (or Apostles) wrote epistles about him.

JNE wrote: "[2] There is no non-Christian reference to Jesus earlier than the second century.
The two references in Flavius Josephus (end of the first century) are unreliable
and can be dismissed in their entirety as later Christian insertions."

It is widely accepted that Mara bar Sarapion wrote about Jesus in the first century. If we are allowed to include the very early second century then Suetonius, Tacitus and Pliny the Younger also mention him. Papyrus fragments from the book of John are also found at this particular time. As for Josephus, the mention of Jesus in Antiquities 20 is not disputed by scholars who specialize in Josephan studies. This is first century evidence right where we would expect it--from a Jew intimately familiar with the history of Palestine. There is an obvious Christian interpolation in Antiquities 18, of course. But even here it is highly likely that Josephus described Jesus and his ministry in either a neutral or negative manner. I personally believe that it was entirely negative. I believe this because Origen explictly states that Josephus did not believe that Jesus was the Messiah. How would he know this unless Josephus asserted this belief in the Antiquities? This amounts to two mentions of Jesus by Josephus.

JNE wrote: "[3] The early epistles, such as Paul and Hebrews, speak of their Christ Jesus
(Messiah Savior) as a spiritual, heavenly being, one revealed by God through
scripture, and do not equate him with a recent historical man. Paul is part of a
new salvation movement acting on revelation from the Spirit."

To make it easier on me, I'll simply quote from The Jesus Legend: "[Paul] knew Jesus was born and raised as a Jew (Gal 4:4) and that he was a descendent of Abraham and David (Gal. 3:16; Rom 1:3). Paul knew Jesus had a brother named James (Gal.1:19) and perhaps other brothers as well (1 Cor. 9:5.). He knew by name a number of disciples who ministered with Jesus, and he knew that Jesus's disciple Peter was married (1 Cor.9:5). Paul also knew that Jesus was betrayed (1 Cor. 11:23) and that he was executed by crucifixion (1 Cor. 1:17-18; Gal 5:11; 6:12; Phil 2:8; 3:18) with the help of certain Judean Jews (1 Thess. 2:14-15). Paul was aware that Jesus instituted a memorial meal the night before his death (1 Cor. 11:23-25, and that Jesus was buried after his death and was resurrected three days later...".

 

 

 


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Robert123 wrote:

Hi JesusNeverExisted,

JNE wrote: "[1] Jesus of Nazareth and the Gospel story cannot be found in Christian writings
earlier than the Gospels, the first of which (Mark) was composed only toward the
end of the first century CE."

I agree with you that the book of Mark was not composed until the end of the first century (around A.D. 70), but most scholars believe that various earlier sources, both oral and written, underlie the text. These may include:

1. A passion narrative.

2. Miracle stories.

3. Logia source or Q.

4. Other narrative traditions.

For what it is worth I spent a lot of time trying to track down the basis for "most scholars believe" as in why do they believe? I have not found physical evidence in support of anything these "scholars" choose to believe. Everything they come up with is nothing more than "traditions" which have no provenence. All recent things like Q are nothing but modifications of those traditions and quite often invented for the sole purpose of saving the traditions. Q for example allows for an early group of believers and witnesses in place of wholesale accumulation of older god stories adapted to the name Jesus.

Quote:
Further, many of the letters of Paul are undoubtedly very early and contain even earlier hymns, creeds and traditions. Critical scholarship also accepts that certain eyewitnesses of Jesus (or Apostles) wrote epistles about him.

Any clear reading of Paul shows he was the leader of a doomsday cult and that his followers are easily and correctly categorized in the cartoons of street corner prophets with "the end is nigh" signs. So called "critical scholarship" just don't got the balls to come out and say there is no evidence of any first person account and nothing but unprovenenced tradition to claim otherwise.

Quote:
JNE wrote: "[2] There is no non-Christian reference to Jesus earlier than the second century.
The two references in Flavius Josephus (end of the first century) are unreliable
and can be dismissed in their entirety as later Christian insertions."

It is widely accepted that Mara bar Sarapion wrote about Jesus in the first century. If we are allowed to include the very early second century then Suetonius, Tacitus and Pliny the Younger also mention him.

Pliny the Younger does NOT mention him, period. Read his words exactly. Same for Mara and Suetonius. Again, read the words exactly. The only possibly credible one does not name him either but contains a corroborative detail on execution by Pilate.

If those people had been called Jesusites there would be many fewer questions. However the name "anointed ones" doesn't get you anywhere. There was a whole lot of anointing going on in those days all over the world. It was not an exclusively Judean custom.

Quote:
Papyrus fragments from the book of John are also found at this particular time. As for Josephus, the mention of Jesus in Antiquities 20 is not disputed by scholars who specialize in Josephan studies.

Bullshit! It has been recognized as a forgery for well over a century.

Quote:
This is first century evidence right where we would expect it--from a Jew intimately familiar with the history of Palestine. There is an obvious Christian interpolation in Antiquities 18, of course. But even here it is highly likely that Josephus described Jesus and his ministry in either a neutral or negative manner. I personally believe that it was entirely negative. I believe this because Origen explictly states that Josephus did not believe that Jesus was the Messiah. How would he know this unless Josephus asserted this belief in the Antiquities? This amounts to two mentions of Jesus by Josephus.

The Greek does not mention the name Jesus.

Put it all together and the personal name Jesus does not appear until the gospels. 

Jews stole the land. The owners want it back. That is all anyone needs to know about Israel. That is all there is to know about Israel.

www.ussliberty.org

www.giwersworld.org/made-in-alexandria/index.html

www.giwersworld.org/00_files/zion-hit-points.phtml


Robert123
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Hi Anonymouse,I hope you

Hi Anonymouse,

I hope you don't mind, but I'd like to narrow the focus a bit so that we don't go off into too many directions at once.

Anonymouse wrote: "Pliny the Younger does NOT mention him, period. Read his words exactly. Same for Mara and Suetonius. Again, read the words exactly. The only possibly credible one does not name him either but contains a corroborative detail on execution by Pilate.

If those people had been called Jesusites there would be many fewer questions. However the name "anointed ones" doesn't get you anywhere. There was a whole lot of anointing going on in those days all over the world. It was not an exclusively Judean custom."

Let's discuss Pliny the Younger, Tacitus and Suetonius. These three men had several things in common:

1. Each wrote about a charismatic leader named either "Christus" or "Chrestus" who developed a large following. The actions of these followers resulted in major disturbances throughout Rome or its provinces during which an Emperor was forced to respond with harsh punitive measures.

2. Each individual led very similar lives. "The three Romans, who are close to one another, all come from state circles, had all held government office and in addition had literary ambitions." Quotation from The Historical Jesus: A Comprehensive Guide.

3. All three wrote about Christus or Chrestus between approximately 110 and 120 A.D. Incidentally, Pliny and Tacitus were friends and neighboring administrators. Suetonius was also a friend to Pliny.

The question remaining is whether or not the Christus or Chrestus mentioned in these works corresponds to the Christ mentioned in the New Testament.

Let's begin with Pliny the Younger. Pliny reports to the Emperor Trajan that various people have been accused of being Christians. He next asks what should be done with those who confess to be Christians but will not recant. Finally, he proceeds on a course of action after the Emperor responds to him with a letter. 

It is very important for this discussion to note that Pliny relates that Christians will not worship images of gods or Emperor. They also will not revile Christus. The Christians of the N.T. were also forbidden to do such things. Further, this particular man Christus was actually worshipped as a god and had hymns sung to him in a religious service. The same is true for the Christ of the N.T. Additionally, few who considered themselves "Messiah" actually claimed the title of Deity or had it conferred upon them. Both Jesus Christ of the N.T. and the Christus of Pliny appear to be precisely the same individual since both were worshipped as God alone by their adherents. 

Both the Christians of the N.T. and the Christians of Pliny also share the same moral values. Namely, they do not commit crimes, steal, rob, commit adultery, break a promise, or withhold a deposit when reclaimed.  

In my opinion, due to the above evidence, there can be little doubt that Pliny is referring to Jesus Christ and his followers. Also, since Pliny probably wrote his letter in 112 A.D. and several of those interrogated had been Christians for over 20 years, we arrive once again back in the first century. 

I also believe that Tacitus referred to Jesus Christ. Both the Christ of the N.T. and the Christus of Tacitus got their start in Judea. Both were executed in the reign of Tiberius under Pontius Pilate. Both of their followers were active during the same time period (A.D. 64 and earlier). Lastly, both of their followers would have been considered a threat to the Roman state due to their extreme religious views.

Although Suetonius is the weakest link, I believe that he too likely mentioned Jesus Christ and his followers. Unfortunately, since Suetonius writes so little about this "Chrestus," it is impossible to know with absolute certainty who he was referring to. I'm definitely open to considering and weighing different viewpoints, but for now I think the evidence tips in favor of the identification of Chrestus with Christ. 

 


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Another opinion

As mentioned by A_Nony_Mouse, Pliny just refers to Christo, the anointed one and the followers of such. They may be the precursors of current Christians, but not necessarily.

For an example of the use of the term Christian, Hadrian in the Historia Augusta allegedly writes to Servianus in 134 CE:
'Egypt, which you commended to me, my dearest Servianus, I have found to be wholly fickle and inconsistent, and continually wafted about by every breath of fame. The worshipers of Serapis (here) are called Christians, and those who are devoted to the god Serapis (I find), call themselves Bishops of Christ.'

Both the Pliny and Hadrian letters are disputed, but not universally. The main issue though is that Pliny, Tacitus and Seutonius were all writing in the second century and at best their information about these potential Christians has come from the confessions of Christians. Pliny knows little about them otherwise. None of the followers of the anointed one claim that he was a real person, was named Jesus or was from Nazareth. This is not evidence for a historical Jesus Christ.

As to their morals, believing “not to commit fraud, theft, or adultery, not falsify their trust, nor to refuse to return a trust when called upon to do so” and having “depraved, excessive superstition” is hardly unusual.

The most generous interpretation of Pliny the Younger's letter is that there was someone who was a Christian in 85 CE.
 

 


A_Nony_Mouse
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Robert123 wrote:

Hi Anonymouse,

I hope you don't mind, but I'd like to narrow the focus a bit so that we don't go off into too many directions at once.

Anonymouse wrote: "Pliny the Younger does NOT mention him, period. Read his words exactly. Same for Mara and Suetonius. Again, read the words exactly. The only possibly credible one does not name him either but contains a corroborative detail on execution by Pilate.

If those people had been called Jesusites there would be many fewer questions. However the name "anointed ones" doesn't get you anywhere. There was a whole lot of anointing going on in those days all over the world. It was not an exclusively Judean custom."

Let's discuss Pliny the Younger, Tacitus and Suetonius. These three men had several things in common:

1. Each wrote about a charismatic leader named either "Christus" or "Chrestus" who developed a large following. The actions of these followers resulted in major disturbances throughout Rome or its provinces during which an Emperor was forced to respond with harsh punitive measures.

At this point I have to suggest you have never read what they did write. I have. If you can find a way to read what you claim in those words please quote them exactly.

Rome was against all secret societies particularly those with religious connotations. I know of no place where this is explained or justified. I would guess it was fear that local, conquered gods could be used to incite insurrection.

Neither Christus (the anointed) nor Chrestus (the good) is the name Jesus. Nothing in the usage of either term implies there was a leader who had a following.

There is no suggestion any of these groups were causing empire wide problems or in Rome proper that was particularly noteworthy. In the first century BC Judeans living inside the walls of Rome were causing local riots or some such among themselves. They were forced to leave the city and live outside it walls -- were there are catacombs showing very non-Judean customs. (Jew == Judean without distinction according to Josephus)

By the standards of the empire the response was punative but not exceptionally so. Pliny reports NO problems at all. He simply finds the leaders, explains the problem to them and their activities either changed or ceased. The behavior he does describe has no connection to later known Christian customs.

Again if you find anything contrary to the above please quote the exact words which you consider to be contradictory and tell me why.

Quote:
2. Each individual led very similar lives. "The three Romans, who are close to one another, all come from state circles, had all held government office and in addition had literary ambitions." Quotation from The Historical Jesus: A Comprehensive Guide.

3. All three wrote about Christus or Chrestus between approximately 110 and 120 A.D. Incidentally, Pliny and Tacitus were friends and neighboring administrators. Suetonius was also a friend to Pliny.

Yes they were upper class Romans for whom the same career path applied and they were in the process of rising to their level of incompetence. Yes, those three and thousands of others were related in the same manner. So?

Quote:
The question remaining is whether or not the Christus or Chrestus mentioned in these works corresponds to the Christ mentioned in the New Testament.

Or perhaps to the anointed Julius Caesar who was elevated to an official god of the pantheon and who had temples for his worship. Sort of like the Pope creating saints. It is then also necessary to consider none of three makes such a connection nor even suggests they are all the same group. The proximity in time is unimportant as, for example, Seutonius is talking of events decades earlier, history not contemporary and does not comment the group continues in his time.

Quote:
Let's begin with Pliny the Younger. Pliny reports to the Emperor Trajan that various people have been accused of being Christians. He next asks what should be done with those who confess to be Christians but will not recant. Finally, he proceeds on a course of action after the Emperor responds to him with a letter.

I am willing to go over this stuff with you but only if you actually read the material yourself and talk about what is written. I am NOT interested in addressing your deliberately false statsments about the words. No one is being accused of being a Christian rather Pliny learns that it what they call themselves AFTER which it becomes an accusation.

Quote:
It is very important for this discussion to note that Pliny relates that Christians will not worship images of gods or Emperor. They also will not revile Christus. The Christians of the N.T. were also forbidden to do such things. Further, this particular man Christus was actually worshipped as a god and had hymns sung to him in a religious service. The same is true for the Christ of the N.T. Additionally, few who considered themselves "Messiah" actually claimed the title of Deity or had it conferred upon them. Both Jesus Christ of the N.T. and the Christus of Pliny appear to be precisely the same individual since both were worshipped as God alone by their adherents.

Quote the words which lead you to claim there is evidence of a particular person involved. I do not find them.

Quote:
Both the Christians of the N.T. and the Christians of Pliny also share the same moral values. Namely, they do not commit crimes, steal, rob, commit adultery, break a promise, or withhold a deposit when reclaimed.

With the things you name they "share" the same moral code with 99% of the empire whether or not observed or put into practice. Again it is the secret nature not the "morality" which draws the attention. And they knock it off when told to.

Quote:
In my opinion, due to the above evidence, there can be little doubt that Pliny is referring to Jesus Christ and his followers. Also, since Pliny probably wrote his letter in 112 A.D. and several of those interrogated had been Christians for over 20 years, we arrive once again back in the first century.

As you have presented no connection whatsoever to a wandering petty con artist in Judea nearly a century earlier just what is it you do not doubt? Considering you have not read anything you are talking about and adequately demonstrate that (or that you are deliberately lying about what is written)

Quote:
I also believe that Tacitus referred to Jesus Christ. Both the Christ of the N.T. and the Christus of Tacitus got their start in Judea.

The Jesus you are talking about got his start in the Galilee not Judea. In the 2nd c. BC the Maccabes conquered the Galileans and forced them to adopt the Judean Yahweh cult practices. All of the followers of your Jesus were Galileans, descendents of forced converts to Judaism. What their religion was like before the forced conversion is unknown at this time.

Quote:
Both were executed in the reign of Tiberius under Pontius Pilate. Both of their followers were active during the same time period (A.D. 64 and earlier). Lastly, both of their followers would have been considered a threat to the Roman state due to their extreme religious views.

Just where do you find that as the perceived threat? You don't appear to know much about Rome either.

Quote:
Although Suetonius is the weakest link, I believe that he too likely mentioned Jesus Christ and his followers. Unfortunately, since Suetonius writes so little about this "Chrestus," it is impossible to know with absolute certainty who he was referring to. I'm definitely open to considering and weighing different viewpoints, but for now I think the evidence tips in favor of the identification of Chrestus with Christ.

In this matter if it is not spelled out it does not exist. "Who else could it mean?" is the logical fallacy of appealing to ignorance. Saying Jesus the Galilean or no one is the fallacy of the false choice.

 

Jews stole the land. The owners want it back. That is all anyone needs to know about Israel. That is all there is to know about Israel.

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Hi X,X wrote: “As

Hi X,

X wrote: “As mentioned by A_Nony_Mouse, Pliny just refers to Christo, the anointed one and the followers of such. They may be the precursors of current Christians, but not necessarily.”

I personally think that too many lines of evidence converge for Pliny and Tacitus to be talking about any other individual than Jesus Christ. As I mentioned before, however, I am willing to entertain the notion that Suetonius may have been referring to an otherwise unknown agitator (though I still think that Jesus is the most likely candidate).

X wrote: “For an example of the use of the term Christian, Hadrian in the Historia Augusta allegedly writes to Servianus in 134 CE:
'Egypt, which you commended to me, my dearest Servianus, I have found to be wholly fickle and inconsistent, and continually wafted about by every breath of fame. The worshipers of Serapis (here) are called Christians, and those who are devoted to the god Serapis (I find), call themselves Bishops of Christ.”

Even if the letter of Hadrian to Servianus is genuine (as you point out this is disputed), it still does not appear to say anything about the worship of Serapis being identical with Christianity. Here is the full excerpt from the letter:


“From Hadrian Augustus to Servianus the consul, greeting. The land of Egypt, the praises of which you have been recounting to me, my dear Servianus, I have found to be wholly light-minded, unstable, and blown about by every breath of rumour. There those who worship Serapis are, in fact, Christians, and those who call themselves bishops of Christ are, in fact, devotees of Serapis. There is no chief of the Jewish synagogue, no Samaritan, no Christian presbyter, who is not an astrologer, a soothsayer, or an anointer. Even the Patriarch himself, when he comes to Egypt, is forced by some to worship Serapis, by others to worship Christ.”


What Hadrian is pointing out is the fact that Christians, Samaritans and Jews in Egypt are melding their own religious beliefs with such things as astrology, soothsaying and the worship of Serapis. The last sentence from the above excerpt is the most telling: The Patriarch is forced to worship both Serapis and Christ. Obviously, Serapis and Christ are separate deitiesthey are not identical. The letter of Hadrian is simply referring to religious syncretism. There is no evidence from ancient history that the term “Christian” was applied to anyone other than a follower of Jesus Christ.

By the way, the bold font is for emphasis. I’m not yelling. Smiling

X wrote: “Both the Pliny and Hadrian letters are disputed, but not universally. The main issue though is that Pliny, Tacitus and Seutonius were all writing in the second century and at best their information about these potential Christians has come from the confessions of Christians. Pliny knows little about them otherwise. None of the followers of the anointed one claim that he was a real person, was named Jesus or was from Nazareth. This is not evidence for a historical Jesus Christ.”

I agree with you that Pliny got his information about Christianity from the confessions of Christians. My intention is only to show that Christians did indeed exist during the first century and that they are identical with their counterparts depicted in the epistles of the New Testament. The Christians of Pliny’s letter and the Christians of the N.T. both worshipped a Messiah who possessed all the trappings of a Deity. Both were forbidden to worship other idols or gods. Both sang hymns during religious services and had identical moral values. Does Pliny’s letter of correspondence in and of itself prove that an actual historical Jesus existed? No, I don’t believe so. But to my mind, it does demonstrate that the Christians depicted in the N.T. enjoy independent attestation from a leading Roman official and an Emperor.

What about Tacitus? Tacitus is known as a fairly good and reliable Roman historian of the early second century. He knows numerous personal and public details about various Emperors from 14 A.D. on and writes about them extensively in The Histories and The Annals. He was probably around the age of eight when the Great Fire at Rome broke out and the first major persecution of Christians began. Tacitus usually is responsible with his sources and appears to be accurate in at least the basic details of his narratives.

Although Tacitus does not list a source for the persecution of Christians in A.D. 64, the event likely did happen and was not simply invented. For one thing, the actual oppression was still within living memory. Elderly Romans would easily have been able to recall whether or not such an event had taken place. Children born after 64 A.D. may have heard their parents discuss it on occasion. A number of written records would likely also have been recorded of the event (police and magistrate reports due to the large number of people being implicated). It may also not have escaped the attention of certain historians writing prior to Tacitus. Therefore, I find it extremely difficult to believe that Tacitus would not use reliable sources to document such a momentous episode in the history of Rome. He wouldn’t need to look far to find the evidence or lack thereof. Finally, it is even possible that he was an actual witness to the persecution.

Well X, I know that I didn’t hit every one of your points, but my next response to Anonymouse should cover them if you’re interested in reading on.

 


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Pliny The Younger and the Historia Augusta

Robert123 wrote:

I personally think that too many lines of evidence converge for Pliny and Tacitus to be talking about any other individual than Jesus Christ. As I mentioned before, however, I am willing to entertain the notion that Suetonius may have been referring to an otherwise unknown agitator (though I still think that Jesus is the most likely candidate).

I am still undecided on whether Pliny is referring to Christians, but I need to look at Tacitus more before I comment further on this.

Robert123 wrote:

Even if the letter of Hadrian to Servianus is genuine (as you point out this is disputed), it still does not appear to say anything about the worship of Serapis being identical with Christianity. Here is the full excerpt from the letter:

“From Hadrian Augustus to Servianus the consul, greeting. The land of Egypt, the praises of which you have been recounting to me, my dear Servianus, I have found to be wholly light-minded, unstable, and blown about by every breath of rumour. There those who worship Serapis are, in fact, Christians, and those who call themselves bishops of Christ are, in fact, devotees of Serapis. There is no chief of the Jewish synagogue, no Samaritan, no Christian presbyter, who is not an astrologer, a soothsayer, or an anointer. Even the Patriarch himself, when he comes to Egypt, is forced by some to worship Serapis, by others to worship Christ.”

What Hadrian is pointing out is the fact that Christians, Samaritans and Jews in Egypt are melding their own religious beliefs with such things as astrology, soothsaying and the worship of Serapis. The last sentence from the above excerpt is the most telling: The Patriarch is forced to worship both Serapis and Christ. Obviously, Serapis and Christ are separate deitiesthey are not identical. The letter of Hadrian is simply referring to religious syncretism. There is no evidence from ancient history that the term “Christian” was applied to anyone other than a follower of Jesus Christ.

By the way, the bold font is for emphasis. I’m not yelling. Smiling

Now that I have looked further into this, I withdraw the claim that the Historia Augusta is evidence for the use of the term Christian being used that way.

There does seem to be a strong consensus that the Historia Augusta is from the fourth century, though Galimberti in 'Hadrian and the Christians' suggests that it may have some reliable bits.

Bold font is perfectly fine. In fact, it is a pleasure to have a civilised dialogue. It forces me to read more.

Robert123 wrote:

X wrote: “Both the Pliny and Hadrian letters are disputed, but not universally. The main issue though is that Pliny, Tacitus and Seutonius were all writing in the second century and at best their information about these potential Christians has come from the confessions of Christians. Pliny knows little about them otherwise. None of the followers of the anointed one claim that he was a real person, was named Jesus or was from Nazareth. This is not evidence for a historical Jesus Christ.”

I agree with you that Pliny got his information about Christianity from the confessions of Christians. My intention is only to show that Christians did indeed exist during the first century and that they are identical with their counterparts depicted in the epistles of the New Testament. The Christians of Pliny’s letter and the Christians of the N.T. both worshipped a Messiah who possessed all the trappings of a Deity. Both were forbidden to worship other idols or gods. Both sang hymns during religious services and had identical moral values. Does Pliny’s letter of correspondence in and of itself prove that an actual historical Jesus existed? No, I don’t believe so. But to my mind, it does demonstrate that the Christians depicted in the N.T. enjoy independent attestation from a leading Roman official and an Emperor.

What about Tacitus? Tacitus is known as a fairly good and reliable Roman historian of the early second century. He knows numerous personal and public details about various Emperors from 14 A.D. on and writes about them extensively in The Histories and The Annals. He was probably around the age of eight when the Great Fire at Rome broke out and the first major persecution of Christians began. Tacitus usually is responsible with his sources and appears to be accurate in at least the basic details of his narratives.

Although Tacitus does not list a source for the persecution of Christians in A.D. 64, the event likely did happen and was not simply invented. For one thing, the actual oppression was still within living memory. Elderly Romans would easily have been able to recall whether or not such an event had taken place. Children born after 64 A.D. may have heard their parents discuss it on occasion. A number of written records would likely also have been recorded of the event (police and magistrate reports due to the large number of people being implicated). It may also not have escaped the attention of certain historians writing prior to Tacitus. Therefore, I find it extremely difficult to believe that Tacitus would not use reliable sources to document such a momentous episode in the history of Rome. He wouldn’t need to look far to find the evidence or lack thereof. Finally, it is even possible that he was an actual witness to the persecution.

Well X, I know that I didn’t hit every one of your points, but my next response to Anonymouse should cover them if you’re interested in reading on.

Regarding

"My intention is only to show that Christians did indeed exist during the first century and that they are identical with their counterparts depicted in the epistles of the New Testament. The Christians of Pliny’s letter and the Christians of the N.T. both worshipped a Messiah who possessed all the trappings of a Deity. Both were forbidden to worship other idols or gods. Both sang hymns during religious services and had identical moral values."

I accept that there probably were Christians in the first century, my main point (which I should have stuck to) was that this doesn't demonstrate a historical Jesus Christ.

As to whether the Pliny Christians were identical to the Christians of the NT Epistles, I'll also need more research, but at first impression, the morals in Pliny's letter don't seem to be specific to Christians. Not worshipping other gods, singing songs to the anointed one, meeting before dawn and taking ordinary food don't seem to be necessarily Christian either.

 

I'll have to get back to you for the rest of the issues when I've read more Tacitus and Seutonius.


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*** mod edit

 


Robert123
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Hey Anonymouse,Anonymouse

Hey Anonymouse,

Anonymouse wrote: “At this point I have to suggest you have never read what they did write. I have. If you can find a way to read what you claim in those words please quote them exactly.”

No, I did read each passage many times.

Anonymouse wrote: “Rome was against all secret societies particularly those with religious connotations. I know of no place where this is explained or justified. I would guess it was fear that local, conquered gods could be used to incite insurrection.”

I think that we can both agree that Rome would not want “secret societies” that might “incite insurrection.”

Anonymouse wrote: “Neither Christus (the anointed) nor Chrestus (the good) is the name Jesus. Nothing in the usage of either term implies there was a leader who had a following.”

Yet, Tacitus explicitly states that Christ did have followers: “Nero substituted as culprits and punished in the most unusual ways those hated for their shameful acts, whom the crowd called ‘Chrestians’. The founder of this name, Christ, had been executed in the reign of Tiberius by the procurator Pontius Pilate….” Obviously, Tacitus has just informed us that certain individuals were punished by Nero and that the founder of their movement had been called Christ.

Suetonius also relates that a certain Chrestus led an agitation that resulted in the Jews being expelled from Rome. Whether this is a reference to aggressive missionary activity by Christians in the name of Christ or simply the name of an individual who was perceived as stirring up trouble in Rome is a topic of debate among scholars. The issue is actually somewhat complex, in my opinion, and there are good arguments on both sides.

I will discuss Pliny, Christ and Christ’s followers below.

Anonymouse wrote: “There is no suggestion any of these groups were causing empire wide problems or in Rome proper that was particularly noteworthy.”

The Christians mentioned in Pliny’s letter were in the process of causing major problems in the eyes of Rome—they rejected the gods and refused to make offerings of wine and incense to an image of the Emperor. This is sedition. They were even being put to death for their recalcitrance. Here is the relevant passage: “I order them [Christians] to be taken away for execution; whatever they have admitted to, I am sure that their stubbornness and inflexible obstinacy ought to be punished.” Worse yet for Pliny and Trajan, the ideas of the Christians appeared to be spreading among all classes, ages and regions.

The Christians mentioned in Tacitus are believed by the populace to have committed “shameful acts” and harbored “hatred for the human race.” They were “hated” by the Romans. They practiced a “deadly superstition” that was “evil.” Their “guilt” deserved an “exemplary punishment.” Indeed, they were executed and tortured more for their hatred of the human race, according to Tacitus, than the trumped up charges of arson. This doesn’t sound like a friendly rivalry to me—especially as it resulted in so much death and suffering.

Anonymouse wrote: “By the standards of the empire the response was punative but not exceptionally so.

Really? Well, I guess if you don’t consider execution to be harsh…

Anonymouse wrote: “Pliny reports NO problems at all. He simply finds the leaders, explains the problem to them and their activities either changed or ceased”.

Their activities certainly did either change or cease. If the Christians wanted to live, their activities changed. If they preferred to be martyred, their activities ceased.

Anonymouse wrote: “The behavior he does describe has no connection to later known Christian customs.”

This certainly is not my observation.

Anonymouse wrote: “Yes they were upper class Romans for whom the same career path applied and they were in the process of rising to their level of incompetence. Yes, those three and thousands of others were related in the same manner. So?”

I was simply setting the scene.

Anonymouse wrote: “Or perhaps to the anointed Julius Caesar who was elevated to an official god of the pantheon and who had temples for his worship. Sort of like the Pope creating saints. It is then also necessary to consider none of three makes such a connection nor even suggests they are all the same group. The proximity in time is unimportant as, for example, Seutonius is talking of events decades earlier, history not contemporary and does not comment the group continues in his time.”

More about this below (including Julius Caesar).

Anonymouse wrote: “No one is being accused of being a Christian rather Pliny learns that it what they call themselves AFTER which it becomes an accusation.”

I’m not sure I follow what you’re attempting to say. Men and women were brought to Pliny on suspicion of being a Christian. Further accusations against the Christians began when “an anonymous accusatory pamphlet [circulated] containing the names of many people.”

Anonymouse wrote: “Quote the words which lead you to claim there is evidence of a particular person involved. I do not find them.”

Here, I believe, you are essentially asking me to find a quotation from Pliny that proves that the Deity Christ had also been a living person. I cannot do this. I can, however, infer that the Christians interrogated by Pliny believed in such a concept.

First, it must be remembered that only the Deity Christ was allowed to be worshipped. The Christians would not invoke the name of other gods. This meant that the entire Greek/Roman pantheon plus the popular Mystery Religions of the time were anathema to them. As I mentioned before, the Christians of the N.T. believed the same thing.

Second, this Deity Christ that was worshipped by Pliny’s Christians had an extremely odd name: Anointed. This makes little sense in a Roman/Greek context. As Robert Van Voorst notes in Jesus Outside the New Testament, “The Greek ‘Christos’ and its Latin equivalent ‘Christus’ would have suggested a strange meaning to most ancients, especially those unfamiliar with its Jewish background. Its primary Greek meaning in everyday life suggests the medical term ‘anointer’ or the construction term ‘plasterer.’ These meanings would not have the religious content that ‘Christ’ would have to someone on the inside of Christianity.” In Roman and Greek mythology, a god or goddess will sometimes anoint an individual with a substance for medicinal purposes or magical protection.  A worshipper of a particular deity also might be anointed.

Third, there is no evidence from ancient historians that the term “Christian” was applied to anyone other than a follower of Jesus Christ. The deified Julius Caesar and others like him were not worshipped by followers named “Christians” despite their having been anointed as kings or emperors in life.    

Fourth, the Christians Justin Martyr, Polycarp of Smyrna, Ignatius of Antioch, Clement of Rome, the author of the Didache, and the author of the Shepherd of Hermas were all contemporaries of Pliny and Tacitus. We have their extensive writings. Obviously, Christianity was alive and well in the Roman Empire at this particular time.

Result: The Christians referred to by Pliny practiced a monotheistic religion. The particular God they worshipped had an unusual name (Christ), which does not make much sense in a Greek/Roman context but finds rich meaning among Jews. The arrival of the “anointed” was an integral part of their religion and was an event that was especially anticipated during the first century. Indeed, Josephus lists many self-proclaimed “Christs” in the first century who were defeated, along with their followers, by the Roman authorities. Only one Jewish “sect”, however, promoted the idea of a human “Anointed One” who was concomitantly a Divine Being. This sect, of course, is known to us as the early New Testament Christians. There can be no mistaking that Pliny’s Christians and the Christians of the N.T. were one and the same. Christian contemporaries of Pliny even write of their own existence and that they are part of the same pedigree as earlier Christians of the first century. They include Justin, Polycarp, Ignatius, Clement and the authors of other works.

Anonymouse wrote: “With the things you name they "share" the same moral code with 99% of the empire whether or not observed or put into practice. Again it is the secret nature not the "morality" which draws the attention. And they knock it off when told to.”

I don’t believe that these Christians shared the same moral code with 99% of the empire. Adultery by both males and females was frowned upon in this religion. In Backgrounds of Early Christianity, Everett Ferguson writes that “Extramarital sexual relations were readily available (at least in Greek and Roman circles), with prostitution and adultery common…the law did not allow the woman to prosecute her husband for his infidelities.” This moral code, when combined with the evidence that I have presented above, leads me to believe that the Christians of Pliny and the N.T. were one and the same.

Anonymouse wrote: “The Jesus you are talking about got his start in the Galilee not Judea. In the 2nd c. BC the Maccabes conquered the Galileans and forced them to adopt the Judean Yahweh cult practices. All of the followers of your Jesus were Galileans, descendents of forced converts to Judaism. What their religion was like before the forced conversion is unknown at this time.”

Two birth narratives place Jesus in Bethlehem of Judea. More importantly, however, three Gospels explicitly maintain that Jesus was baptized and started his ministry in Judea. The fourth Gospel, John, lists a presently unknown location where Jesus began his ministry but informs us that it was not in Galilee. Jesus actually left for Galilee, according to John, the day after his baptism. Throughout the Gospels, Jesus is depicted as preaching and healing in Judea, Samaria and Galilee.

Anonymouse wrote: “In this matter if it is not spelled out it does not exist. "Who else could it mean?" is the logical fallacy of appealing to ignorance. Saying Jesus the Galilean or no one is the fallacy of the false choice.”

Regarding Suetonius, I’ve said that the evidence connecting Chrestus with Christ is only slightly more convincing than other posited theories. It very well may be that Jesus Christ has nothing whatsoever to do with this passage in Suetonius.

 


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digitalbeachbum

digitalbeachbum wrote:

bzeurunkl wrote:

[1] Jesus of Nazareth and the Gospel story cannot be found in Christian writings earlier than the Gospels,..."

That's like saying, "Tom Sawyer cannot be found in literature any earlier than the writings of Mark Twain..."

I think they are talking about the oral tradition which was the only way the story was passed on; so in a sense if it wasn't written down then mistakes were made orally.  Before it was written, the story of Jesus was passed around in free form with out any oral tradition. There was no formal training which could be compared to the likes of Buddhist monks orally transmitting stories; instead the Middle East natives used a folklore type of transmission.

The earliest written version I think exists from the 4th century. So why such a long wait and why so few versions? If it was so important or so popular one would think their would be multiple copies before the 4th century. It is suspected that the first copy was written in Hebrew and then translated in to Greek. That Hebrew version does not exist so comparisons can not be made between translations.

Also, the comparison between Mark Twain and Tom Sawyer is invalid. The Gospels in Christianity were not written by the authors.

 

 

Exactly! Even some biblical scholars admit they have NO idea who actually wrote the gospels! Any moron can slap a name on it. Plus NONE of the gospe writers ever saw any earthly Jesus and even the earliest gospel was written DECADES after this alleged Jesus died!

A Jesus which NO ONE ever saw, NO ONE heard about, and for which NO Roman record exists this guy even existed much less was crucified!

Fugghedaboutit!

Click here to find out why Christianity is the biggest fairy tale ever created!! www.nobeliefs.com/exist.htm www.JesusNEVERexisted.com


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.

Robert123 wrote:

Hey Anonymouse,

Anonymouse wrote: “At this point I have to suggest you have never read what they did write. I have. If you can find a way to read what you claim in those words please quote them exactly.”

No, I did read each passage many times.

If you are going to insist you have read it then you know they called themselves Chrestos, the Good, not even Christos, the Anointed. Yet you keep saying they called themselves Christians when that is clearly untrue. Why?

Jews stole the land. The owners want it back. That is all anyone needs to know about Israel. That is all there is to know about Israel.

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 Hey Anonymouse,Anonymouse

 

Hey Anonymouse,

Anonymouse wrote: “None of that explains why you are lying about the word Pliny uses which as a meaning in the language at the time. That meaning is not annointed."

Are you talking about the reference from Tertullian? He is simply saying that pagans were constantly confusing the words “Chrestian” and “Christian.” He is also stating that “Christian” is ultimately derived from “Christ,” which means “anointed.” Christians are followers of the “anointed one.”

Pliny uses the word “Christianos” several times in his letter to Trajan, which is identical to the three occurrences of “Christianos” found in the N.T.

Anonymouse wrote: That you drag in other sources means only that it is necessary to review them and see if you are lying about them also. Would you care to provide useful references for those other claims?”

1.     Tertullian (1 Apology 3.5).

2.     Justin Martyr (1 Apology 4.1).

3.     Lactantius (Divine Institutes 4.7.5).

4.     Elsa Gibson, The “Christians for Christians” Inscriptions of Phrygia.

5.     F.T. Gignac, A Grammar of the Greek Papyri of the Roman and Byzantine Periods.

 


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Darn

 Robert123. I unintentionally deleted your post because you hit "REPLY" off of some SPAM. When you do that it becomes the child of the spam post. Please only select reply on a members posts such as Anonymouse. I did the spam deletion on my Droid so I cannot cut a paste. I still have the droid window available and will do my best to manually retype it on my computer. Please review and you can post any corrections. Sorry about this.

 

Also I will use the bbcode quote function you might want to familarize yourself with that. Instead of hitting reply you can hit the quote link instead.

For directions on bbcode go to this page and search for BBCode Guide

http://www.rationalresponders.com/filter/tips

 

 

 

 

Religion Kills !!!

Numbers 31:17-18 - Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man, but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

http://jesus-needs-money.blogspot.com/


ex-minister
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ROBERT123 post accidently deleted

 This post was Robert123, which I accidently deleted because it was a child of SPAM

 

Hi Anonymouse,

Anoymouse wrote:

If you are going to insist you have read it then you know they called themselves Chrestos, the Good, not even Christos, the Anointed. Yet you keep saying they called themselves Christians when that is clearly untrue. Why?

Robert123 wrote the following

 

The designation "Christanos" is used by Tacitus in his letter to Trajan and is also found in Acts 11:26; Acts 26:28; and 1Peter 4:16. It simply refers to the followers of Christ. Its English translation is "Christian".

Tacitus informs us that the followers of Christ, who had been executed in the reign of Tiberius under Pontius Pilate, were called "Chrestians" by the Roman crowds. Calling Christians by the name of Chrestians during this period was actually a common error for which we have clear literary and archaeological evidence.

1. When defending Christians from persecution by pagans, Tertullian writes that ";Christian'...is derived from 'anointing'. Even when you wrongly pronounce it 'Chrestian,' it comes from 'sweetness and goodness.' You do not even know the name you hate!"

2. Justin Martyr makes the following pun: "Insofar as one may judge from the name we are accused of [Christianoi], we are most excellent people [chrestianoi].

3. Lactanitius laments "the error of ignorant people, who by the change of one letter customarily call him [Christus] 'Chrestus'".

4. Funerary inscriptions vacillate between "Chrestians" and "Christians."

5. Codex Sinaiticus spells "Christian" as "Chrestian." Manuscript p72 has "Chrestos" for "Christos."

*Note: This post has accidentally been erased and belongs before my latest post.

 

== All above is from Robert123 ==

Sorry Robert123 for it happening again. Please do not hit reply on a spam post even if it is the last post of the thread.

Religion Kills !!!

Numbers 31:17-18 - Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man, but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

http://jesus-needs-money.blogspot.com/


ex-minister
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Damn spammers

 I don't know why but spammers love this thread.

Religion Kills !!!

Numbers 31:17-18 - Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man, but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

http://jesus-needs-money.blogspot.com/


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Hi Ex-Minister,Thanks for

Hi Ex-Minister,

Thanks for the information and for re-typing my post. Smiling


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ex-minister wrote: I don't

ex-minister wrote:

 I don't know why but spammers love this thread.

They go after threads that are on the homepage because they have more worth.  This threads been featured on the homepage for a while.

 

- Brian Sapient


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ex-minister
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Thanks for explaining,

Thanks for explaining, Brian.
I do like how they all gather on one thread. It is easier to cleanup. Yesterday there were 6 spam posts on this one thread.

Religion Kills !!!

Numbers 31:17-18 - Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man, but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

http://jesus-needs-money.blogspot.com/


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More Pliny the Younger - Authenticity

Robert123 wrote:

Well X, I know that I didn’t hit every one of your points, but my next response to Anonymouse should cover them if you’re interested in reading on.

Sorry about the delay, it’s taken me this long to find the time to do the reading and I’m still just on some aspects of the younger Pliny. Ideally, a lot more research is required, but rather than spend another week reading, I’ll present what I have found so far.  Some of my conclusions are tentative.

Most historians accept the Pliny to Trajan letters about Christo as authentic, but not all. I found the letters strange from the first reading, and I'm increasingly tending to distrust them more, but forgery and interpolation is a tricky issue, so a lot more reading is needed. At this rate, it'll be a long while before I get to Tacitus or the other topics, but I will try to eventually do so.


Reasons for suspicions about authenticity:

It makes Pliny look incompetent as he’s allowed this superstition to spread and undermine society.

Pliny is an experienced lawyer yet seems not to know much about the law.

It is the only time Christo is mentioned by him.

Roman laws were codified soon after by Hadrian in the Edictum Julianum and in them there is no mention of a law against Christians or instances of Trajan or Hadrian or Pliny purging them.

The manuscript of book ten is lost, we don’t know what it originally said.

Rome was generally tolerant of religions and didn’t execute people for no reason.

The refutation of the idea of Christians being cannibals pops up. It may be an attempt to promote the idea that Nero persecuted the Christians.

It is unlikely that there were so many Christians in Bithynia at the time. No evidence of many Christians till at least 3rd century. Also, Pliny has been working there for over a year and hadn’t heard of them till now.

How did Tertullion get hold of a letter that wasn’t supposed to have been published?

Did Christians sing antiphonic hymns in that era?

Would Pliny differentiate between Christians and Jewish sects?

No archaeological or other external evidence of Christians then.

The letter is vague, giving no names or dates or placenames.

In the panegyric, Pliny praises Trajan for “his abandonment of vexatious and petty prosecutions for high treason” yet here he is killing people for no clear reason.

Christians have a history of interpolating into history.

Justin Martyr doesn’t know of these letters.

Ordinary people were not legally expected to offer prayer to Trajan or curse their local god.

If the Christians were purged, why did Marcion succeed in Bithnyia and Pontus?

Trajan’s reply is odd. He says do not seek them out, no law can be made, but kill them if they are denounced to you. Otherwise leave them be and ignore anonymous letters even though I just told you to kill them if it isn't anonymous.
 


Reasons to accept it as legitimate:
 

Most historians accept it.

It is standard in this era for letters to use the literary devices of making the author seem important and the emperor even more important.  Flattery of Trajan may explain why Pliny looks incompetent and why all problems are neatly resolved and Trajan doesn't mind the incompetence.

Tertullian quotes from it.

Tertullian quotes it as ‘to Christ and god’ but the later manuscript supposedly had ‘to Christ as to a god’.

Maybe I have confirmation bias and haven’t read enough literature from the era for context.

Maybe it rings more true in the Latin.


Other:
 

If they were Christians, what sort? The area was known as non-orthodox, so possibly Marcionites; but possibly followers of any old messiah.

The Essenes and Therapeutae sang hymns and met before daybreak as do many religions with a sun worship background.

Christos is used forty times in the Septuagint. Theophilus says “We are called Christian because we are anointed with the oil of God", not because there was a human Christ.

Fraud, theft, adultery and falsifying trust seem to be prohibited by the Ten Commandments with ‘not bearing false witness’ covering fraud and falsifying trust. I’d expect many cults or schools of philosophy to agree.

Early Christians in the time of the apologists were Hellenist Jews/Platonist philosophers, not mentioning a physical person god. The letter makes no mention that Christo is a person, Christo is worshipped as a god.

The Chresto/Christo issue is interesting. There was a Socrates Chrestos of Bithynia around this time.
 


Robert123
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Hi X,Thanks for the reply.

Hi X,

Thanks for the reply. I'll try and get back to you as soon as I can, but it may take a little while. Life is so busy. Sad


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No hurry

Robert123 wrote:

Hi X,

Thanks for the reply. I'll try and get back to you as soon as I can, but it may take a little while. Life is so busy. Sad

Cheers, you've seen how slow I can be.

 


Atheistextremist
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Nice post x

x wrote:

Robert123 wrote:

Well X, I know that I didn’t hit every one of your points, but my next response to Anonymouse should cover them if you’re interested in reading on.

Sorry about the delay, it’s taken me this long to find the time to do the reading and I’m still just on some aspects of the younger Pliny. Ideally, a lot more research is required, but rather than spend another week reading, I’ll present what I have found so far.  Some of my conclusions are tentative.

Most historians accept the Pliny to Trajan letters about Christo as authentic, but not all. I found the letters strange from the first reading, and I'm increasingly tending to distrust them more, but forgery and interpolation is a tricky issue, so a lot more reading is needed. At this rate, it'll be a long while before I get to Tacitus or the other topics, but I will try to eventually do so.


Reasons for suspicions about authenticity:

It makes Pliny look incompetent as he’s allowed this superstition to spread and undermine society.

Pliny is an experienced lawyer yet seems not to know much about the law.

It is the only time Christo is mentioned by him.

Roman laws were codified soon after by Hadrian in the Edictum Julianum and in them there is no mention of a law against Christians or instances of Trajan or Hadrian or Pliny purging them.

The manuscript of book ten is lost, we don’t know what it originally said.

Rome was generally tolerant of religions and didn’t execute people for no reason.

The refutation of the idea of Christians being cannibals pops up. It may be an attempt to promote the idea that Nero persecuted the Christians.

It is unlikely that there were so many Christians in Bithynia at the time. No evidence of many Christians till at least 3rd century. Also, Pliny has been working there for over a year and hadn’t heard of them till now.

How did Tertullion get hold of a letter that wasn’t supposed to have been published?

Did Christians sing antiphonic hymns in that era?

Would Pliny differentiate between Christians and Jewish sects?

No archaeological or other external evidence of Christians then.

The letter is vague, giving no names or dates or placenames.

In the panegyric, Pliny praises Trajan for “his abandonment of vexatious and petty prosecutions for high treason” yet here he is killing people for no clear reason.

Christians have a history of interpolating into history.

Justin Martyr doesn’t know of these letters.

Ordinary people were not legally expected to offer prayer to Trajan or curse their local god.

If the Christians were purged, why did Marcion succeed in Bithnyia and Pontus?

Trajan’s reply is odd. He says do not seek them out, no law can be made, but kill them if they are denounced to you. Otherwise leave them be and ignore anonymous letters even though I just told you to kill them if it isn't anonymous.
 


Reasons to accept it as legitimate:
 

Most historians accept it.

It is standard in this era for letters to use the literary devices of making the author seem important and the emperor even more important.  Flattery of Trajan may explain why Pliny looks incompetent and why all problems are neatly resolved and Trajan doesn't mind the incompetence.

Tertullian quotes from it.

Tertullian quotes it as ‘to Christ and god’ but the later manuscript supposedly had ‘to Christ as to a god’.

Maybe I have confirmation bias and haven’t read enough literature from the era for context.

Maybe it rings more true in the Latin.


Other:
 

If they were Christians, what sort? The area was known as non-orthodox, so possibly Marcionites; but possibly followers of any old messiah.

The Essenes and Therapeutae sang hymns and met before daybreak as do many religions with a sun worship background.

Christos is used forty times in the Septuagint. Theophilus says “We are called Christian because we are anointed with the oil of God", not because there was a human Christ.

Fraud, theft, adultery and falsifying trust seem to be prohibited by the Ten Commandments with ‘not bearing false witness’ covering fraud and falsifying trust. I’d expect many cults or schools of philosophy to agree.

Early Christians in the time of the apologists were Hellenist Jews/Platonist philosophers, not mentioning a physical person god. The letter makes no mention that Christo is a person, Christo is worshipped as a god.

The Chresto/Christo issue is interesting. There was a Socrates Chrestos of Bithynia around this time.
 

 

Thanks for taking the time to go through all that. Enjoyed it. 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


Vastet
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I'm starting to hate this

I'm starting to hate this topic. It's like the black hole of spam. Worst part is coming in here ready to nuke, only to find there's an actual post. Damn you AE!
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Spam City

Vastet wrote:
I'm starting to hate this topic. It's like the black hole of spam. Worst part is coming in here ready to nuke, only to find there's an actual post. Damn you AE! :P

I know what you mean. There is almost always a new post on here, so I think I'd better get ready to reply to some tricky arguments. Robert123 no doubt feels the same.

Instead, it is almost always spam, so I can relax again.

Of course, by typing this I've caused Vastet and the other mods to get their spam guns out of their holsters.

 

So, to make this a post of some use, I'll mention that I should really quote my sources.

A fair bit of it I at least partly thought up myself, and then of course found that I wasn't the first to think of it; but quite a bit of it I got from others.

If a point is discussed further I'll go into more detail about my sources for that point, but in general I can say that quite a few of my sources come via the usual online suspects; namely Carrier, Doherty and Godfrey.

However, as well as general Roman and Christian history sites, I've also looked at Christian apologetics sites, Dutch Radicals, Ehrman, Hoffmann and others.

Price is someone I should probably look more at and I am of course limited to online material.


ex-minister
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 Looks like this thread is

 Looks like this thread is getting really interesting.

 

Don't ever hit reply on a spam post or a mod may accidently delete it. We cannot know about this until it is too late.

If I see an embedded spam post I try to just edit all the contents of the spam post including a spam pic at times like above.

 

I wonder if Brian could figure out how to demote this on the home page and put up an pseudo thread where spammers would be drawn instead.

Religion Kills !!!

Numbers 31:17-18 - Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man, but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

http://jesus-needs-money.blogspot.com/


Robert123
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 Hey there X,I only

 

Hey there X,

I only responded to the first ten “suspicions about authenticity” talking points since I didn’t want to make the post excessively long or keep you waiting.

X wrote: "Reasons for suspicions about authenticity: It makes Pliny look incompetent as he’s allowed this superstition to spread and undermine society."

It appears that Pliny was appointed to his post as Governor of Pontus-Bithynia sometime in A.D. 111. The letter to Trajan was probably written in 112. Therefore, it seems to me that very little time was wasted in bringing the problem of the Christians in Bithynia to the attention of the Emperor. Pliny, of course, could have done nothing to prevent the spread of Christianity in this region before his actual appointment to office.

X wrote: “Pliny is an experienced lawyer yet seems not to know much about the law.”

I agree that Pliny is an experienced lawyer, but he specifically mentioned that he had never attended a trial of a Christian before. He did not fully know how to proceed. For example, he wondered if the Christians should be prosecuted simply for being Christians even if no other crimes could be uncovered. This would appear to be a legitimate question. Even Hadrian issued instructions to his proconsul regarding similar issues concerning Christians several years later.

X wrote: “It is the only time Christo is mentioned by him.”

True, but Pliny likely died the next year.

X wrote: “Roman laws were codified soon after by Hadrian in the Edictum Julianum and in them there is no mention of a law against Christians or instances of Trajan or Hadrian or Pliny purging them.”

It is important here to note that Hadrian, Pliny and Trajan each bear witness to the fact that Christians were being accused of crimes by certain members of the population. There is complete agreement among these three sources that Christians were sought out by various individuals in order to be prosecuted and punished. The rescript of Hadrian, therefore, reinforces the authenticity of the letter of Pliny to the Emperor Trajan along with Trajan’s response.

It is unclear whether Hadrian rescinded Trajan’s policy entirely or simply made it much more difficult to prosecute Christians.

X wrote: “The manuscript of book ten is lost, we don’t know what it originally said.”

Although the history of transmission is a little complex, scholars are confident that we essentially have what Pliny wrote. Regarding the particular letters (96 and 97) that we are interested in, Tertullian even provides us with an early summarization of the key points circa 197.

X wrote: “Rome was generally tolerant of religions and didn’t execute people for no reason.”

I essentially agree with this. There were exceptions at various times, however, and some of those who were persecuted include Christians, Jews, practitioners of Druidism, Cynics, followers of Isis, participants in the Bacchanalia, and magicians.

X wrote: “The refutation of the idea of Christians being cannibals pops up. It may be an attempt to promote the idea that Nero persecuted the Christians.”

Sorry, X, but I don’t really know what you are attempting to say. Would you mind rephrasing? Are you talking about the mention of the Thyestian banquets (cannibalism) by Athenagoras, perhaps?

X wrote: “It is unlikely that there were so many Christians in Bithynia at the time. No evidence of many Christians till at least 3rd century. Also, Pliny has been working there for over a year and hadn’t heard of them till now.”

We actually have rather extensive literary evidence for Christians in Asia Minor. It was a hotbed of activity in both the New Testament era and during the time of the Apostolic Fathers. The Book of Acts reports the missionary activity of Paul and Barnabas in this vast region. Many of Paul’s epistles were directed to those living in Asia Minor (Galatians; Ephesians; Colossians; Philemon), or at least mentions a number of provinces here where Christians resided (such as references in the Pastoral Epistles). The Apostle Peter also wrote to the various Christian churches in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia and Bithynia. Strong traditions place the Apostle John in Asia Minor, and the Book of Revelation is addressed to seven churches here. Additional traditions report that the Apostle Philemon died in this land.

Ignatius of Antioch wrote epistles from Smyrna to the churches in Ephesus, Magnesia and Tralles, as well as from Troas to Smyrna and Philadelphia. Polycarp became a bishop of Smyrna and wrote an epistle to the Phillipians. Papias resided in and wrote treatises from Hierapolis. We also have, of course, the letter from Pliny to the Emperor and his response. The rescript of Hadrian to his proconsul also addresses the problem of Christians in Asia Minor. Therefore, it sounds like there was a rather sizeable population of Christians residing in the various provinces of Asia during the late first and early second centuries.

X wrote: “How did Tertullion get hold of a letter that wasn’t supposed to have been published”

Although Pliny may or may not have intended to publish Book 10, a contemporary likely did publish it (perhaps even Suetonius). This sort of thing happens all the time. Take Paul’s epistles, for example. Although Paul originally intended a particular letter to be read by a particular church, the entire world is now able to own a copy. It is published everywhere and in numerous languages. More importantly and to the point, consider what happens when an ancient or modern writer dies and a manuscript is later discovered that had never been published. The first thing that usually happens is publication and distribution to the general public, whether the author had intended to ever release the manuscript or not.

X wrote: “Did Christians sing antiphonic hymns in that era”

This wouldn’t be considered unusual. Some of the ancient Hebrew Psalms were likely sung antiphonally.

 


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Talking Point 001 - Pliny seems incompetent?

Robert123 wrote:

Hey there X,

I only responded to the first ten “suspicions about authenticity” talking points since I didn’t want to make the post excessively long or keep you waiting.

X wrote: "Reasons for suspicions about authenticity: It makes Pliny look incompetent as he’s allowed this superstition to spread and undermine society."

It appears that Pliny was appointed to his post as Governor of Pontus-Bithynia sometime in A.D. 111. The letter to Trajan was probably written in 112. Therefore, it seems to me that very little time was wasted in bringing the problem of the Christians in Bithynia to the attention of the Emperor. Pliny, of course, could have done nothing to prevent the spread of Christianity in this region before his actual appointment to office.

Dating:

Regarding the dating of letters 10-96/97, I’ve found various opinions on exactly when Pliny governed Bithynia-Pontus. It seems agreed that he arrived there on 17 September, according to Letter 10-17A. Some say this was is 109, some 110 or 111. I’ve not looked into why the dating of the year differs.

Either way, the start year is only an offset and it seems agreed that the span of his letters was at least 18 months and letters 10-96/97 were towards the end of his term. The conclusions I’ve found are that they were written between ‘well over a year’ and ‘about 18 months’ into his term. This doesn't seem to be controversial.


Possible signs of admitting to incompetence:

He admits to not knowing the law, despite being an experienced lawyer.

He admits to arbitrary justice. Despite not knowing if a law has been broken, he kills them anyway if they are locals, but only when they are obstinate and confess to being Christiani.

Pliny has already made an edict against political societies, but he is admitting that this has been ineffective.

After executing a few, he decides to torture the deaconesses to find out more. He finds them mostly harmless. The competent thing to do would be to do the torture before the executions.

Having executed a few he decides to postpone further investigations and consult Trajan, thus admitting that he has acted in haste and possibly in error.

He admits to not tackling this serious problem till late in his governorship and consequently allowing all sorts of incriminations to become widespread and to have allowed many people in the cities, towns and villages to have been put in danger of the cult. This may have started before his term, but he doesn't say so.

He tells the boss that the problem is partly the fault of Rome, due to the lack of legal procedure for repentance. And even then, it only ‘seems possible’ to check and reverse it.

Despite admitting to having allowed the cult to spread and to not know quite what to do about it, he then tries to offset this failure by taking the credit for the increase in use of the temples.

He admits to have set a dangerous kind of precedent that is out of keeping with the spirit of the age, by acting on an anonymous list.


Summary:

Why would a successful politician and lawyer allow himself to appear so foolish in the eyes of the emperor and the reading public, especially since letters in this era were generally used as rhetorical literary devices to portray an idealised governor and emperor? Especially problematic is the way Rome is blamed.

There are two aspects to this potential incompetence. Firstly, whether Pliny would allow himself to be perceived as incompetent and then whether he actually was incompetent. For me, the most troubling is the perception. It seems unlikely that such a man in that age would allow such an image in a letter to the emperor.

This level of detail may seem like obsessive nit-picking, but since this is supposed to be one of the first references to the existence of Christians, it is worthy of deep examination. Also, these famous letters have been argued about for years, but this this aspect of them less so.


To do:

I’ve only skimmed the surface though and in order to be more confident I’d have to read a lot more of his letters and those of other public figures of the time. Not to mention reading historians’ opinions. That would take quite some time, so I’ll defer that for now and try to look at the other talking points.

Next:

On to talking point 002!